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Stalking the Red Bear: The True Story of a U.S. Cold War Submarine's Covert Operations Against the Soviet Union [Paperback]

Peter Sasgen


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Book Description

March 16 2010

The thrilling untold story of Cold War submarine espionage and an inside look at the U.S. Navy’s “Silent Service”

Stalking the Red Bear—for the first time ever—describes the action principally from the perspective of a commanding officer of a Sturgeon-class nuclear submarine during the Cold War, taking readers closer to the Soviet target than any work on submarine espionage has ever done before.

This is the untold true story of a covert submarine espionage operation against the Soviet Union. Few individuals outside the intelligence and submarine communities knew anything about these top-secret missions, and with good reason: the curtain of secrecy surrounding submarine operations, beginning in World War II, is nearly impenetrable.

Cloaking itself in virtual invisibility to avoid detection, this Sturgeon-class boat went sub versus sub deep within Soviet-controlled waters north of the Arctic Circle, where the risks were extraordinarily high and anything could happen. Readers will know what it was like to carry out a covert mission aboard a nuke and experience the sights, sounds, and dangers unique to submarining.


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Review

“An exciting and realistic journey deep into the cold black waters of covert submarine espionage during the Cold War era.”  —Kenneth Sewell, New York Times bestselling author of Red Star Rogue and All Hands Down

“No submariner has ever served aboard a boat called Blackfin, and every submariner has. For nukes especially, Stalking the Red Bear is a cross between finding a covert diary and coming home.” —Sherry Sontag, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage

About the Author

Peter Sasgen, who worked closely with the sub’s commanding officer on this project, is an expert on submarines. He has written both fiction and nonfiction on the subject, including several thrillers and a nonfiction book, Red Scorpion, on World War II submarine warfare. He lives in Florida.    


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Memories Jan. 1 2010
By submariner in Arizona - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I also served on a 637 class attack submarine and agree with most of the sentiments of the prior reviews. I did find the book fun to read and very informative. It created a great source of memories for something I experienced almost 40 years ago as a junior nuclear trained officer. I feel that the author did a great job of surmising what was happening on the Russian side of the equation. This was something we did almost everyday while on patrol. I am giving this book to my friends who really want to know what we did back in the day . As the former CO said, it wasn't flashy but it was an interesting job. I am very happy that I purchased this book. The author did a nice job.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NUCLEAR STRIKE SUBS: STALKING THE U.S.S.R. FROM UNDER THE SEAS. April 28 2009
By RBSProds - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Five COMPELLING Stars! In "Stalking the Red Bear", author Peter Sasgen investigates highly-classified U.S. Navy nuclear attack submarine operations that were conducted under the code name "Holystone", which according to the author encompassed clandestine Navy "covert submarine espionage operations against the Soviet Union". It began in the late 1940's and continued through the remainder of the Cold War and beyond. But this book is not a work of documented history, although it addresses incidents like the "Thresher" and the "Scorpion": it takes the reader on a fascinating, sometimes hair-raising journey made up of reconstructed operations, procedures, scenes, and conversations based on unlimited, unclassified access by the author to an actual 'Holystone' attack submarine commander: the payoff is that the reader follows a notional crew on a step-by-step spine-tingling deployment to the Barents Sea. it's a risky literary approach for a real-world book, but as one gets caught up in the undersea action, it works. A prodigious amount of information, 'word pictures', and history is imparted to the reader using this convention. Antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and intelligence gathering are major parts of thls book, but the hardships, tenacity, and dedication of the heroic 'submariner' personnel and their families are the real story. The U.S.S.R. once threatened to "bury" America, this book shows how seriously we took the threat of all-out war and how our un-trackable nuclear subs were the hammer the Soviets feared most of all. You may never forget the experiences of the pseudonymous "Captain Roy Hunter" and the "USS Blackfin". And do read the appendices which are loaded with anecdotes, such as some of the heroic exploits of "Lucky" Fluckey and Street, both Congressional Medal of Honor winners: well worth the time. My Highest Recommendation. Five HUGE Stars! (This review is based on a Kindle download.)
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stalking the Red Bear Aug. 31 2009
By C. M. Wood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am a retired submarine commander. This book is technically accurate, but not very thrilling reading. (Our patrols were not very thrilling most of the time, either.)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cold Warrior's Thoughts April 6 2010
By W. T. Door - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very revealing book. It is an outstanding depiction of a routine Cold War Submarine Special Operation. If I wrote such a book I would be in jail. Thanks for a great read on submarine ops and a trip down memory lane. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what really happened when the sleek black sub left port in the late sixties and early seventies.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stalking the Red Bear Aug. 16 2009
By John Stein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Well-written and mostly accurate portrayal of intelligence-gathering submarines during the cold war, especiallly the STURGEON (SSN-637) class. Some factual errors about submarine technology (e.g., erroneously called 1970s sattelite navigation GPS, which was not in use until the 1990s and totally missed the use of CO2 scrubbers).
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